Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Soccer-Napoli owner says Serie A should keep hold of media business

By Alvise Armellini

ROME (Reuters) – The owner of Italian league leaders Napoli has become the latest senior figure in Serie A to speak out against plans to allow external investors to invest in its media business.

“I have always been against selling,” Aurelio de Laurentiis told Reuters on Monday.

“We should produce the content and then place it with the various platforms – Amazon, Netflix, Apple, DAZN and Sky,” the film producer said.

Gerry Cardinale, whose RedBird Capital company owns AC Milan, made similar remarks last week when asked about reports that banks and investment funds were keen to acquire a share of Serie A’s media rights operation.

Germany’s Bundesliga is looking at outside investment in its media business as continental clubs seek to close the revenue gap on the English Premier League.

De Laurentiis has revived the fortunes of Napoli in almost two decades in charge and the team appears on course to win the Italian league for only the third time in its history.

They are also well placed to progress in the Champions League after a 2-0 away win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.

However, De Laurentiis took aim at European soccer’s governing body UEFA which he said had a dominant position and did not understand business properly.

He again floated the idea of a European league but based on performance rather than a self-selecting group of big clubs and suggested national leagues such as Serie A should be slimmed down from their current 20 teams to accommodate this.

“Clearly there is a problem of merit, if you reach a certain position in national league you can participate,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of an awards ceremony in Rome.

(Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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